Two Native American Leaders are publicly pressuring the Atlanta Braves baseball team to end its nearly 30-year tradition known as the “tomahawk chop,” the New York Post reports.
The chief of the Creek nation claimed that the practice, which includes fans holding red foam tomahawks during games, “reduces Native Americans to a caricature and minimizes the contributions of Native people as equal citizens and human beings.”
A Cherokee leader further criticized the tradition, calling it “just so stereotypical, like old-school Hollywood…Come on guys, it’s 2020. Let’s move on, find something else.”
In response, a spokeswoman for the Braves said that team officials will hold talks with Native American leaders to discuss the future of the practice, adding that the team “looks forward to a continued dialogue with those in the Native American community.”
The demanded censoring of this longtime tradition marks the latest attempt to change professional sports’ teams branding, mascots, and practices out of fear of offending Native Americans; there have been ongoing attempts to change the name of the Washington Redskins football team, and the Cleveland Indians baseball team was forced to retire its old mascot, Chief Wahoo,” last year amid similar demands.